Govt to check if minorities benefit from schemes

100 districts have been identified for review

The National Democratic Alliance government plans to reach out to Muslims to ascertain if targeted schemes are benefiting them, in a move to overcome trust deficit among minority communities.

Minister of State for Minority Affairs M A Naqvi will visit Kerala from January 3 for on-the-spot assessment of welfare schemes. The ministry has overall identified 100 districts spread across the country to review these schemes.

It has already consulted states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telanagana. “I will reach out to people at the grass-root level to discuss their problems and find solutions,” said Naqvi.

The “Mission Empowerment” assumes importance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to be unhappy with Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah’s pace of work. A buzz in the government is that she might be dropped from the Cabinet and made a governor, and she turning 75 in April will be cited as an excuse to make her exit honourable.

Modi had made it clear that leaders aged 75 years and above would not be inducted in his team. Many senior leaders were left out as a result.

The move comes in the midst of Hindu fringe organisations asserting themselves with “ghar waapsi” or “re-conversion” ceremonies, and protesting over the film “PK”.
Naqvi claimed that no political motive should be ascribed on his visit, as it is aimed at finding out if government schemes are delivering results on the ground.

“We believe in 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas', and will ensure that minorities' schemes reach the beneficiaries,” added Naqvi.

He also said many schemes announced by the previous United Progressive Assliance government could not be implemented fully. Naqvi, who accepted it was a “challenge” to achieve this empowerment, will tour states and use the feedback to streamline programmes pertaining to minorities ahead of next year’s budget.

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